Why homeschool? You can give your children immediate feedback!

From Our House to Yours

Why should you homeschool?… A Series on Reasons to Homeschool

With so many schooling options, you might wonder why you should homeschool. Or, maybe you are already homeschooling, and you need fresh reasons why you should continue to do so. Well, I’m happy to say, there are many valid reasons to homeschool, and this  Heart of Dakota From Our House to Yours series is focused on sharing them First, we talked about how you get to spend more time with your children. Second, we talked about how you know what your children did for the day. Third, we talked about how you get to run your own schedule. Today, we’ll talk about the fourth reason, which is you can give your children immediate feedback!

I have found it so helpful to give immediate feedback on schoolwork being done incorrectly!

Why is immediate feedback on schoolwork an important reason to homeschool?  Well, students have a much better opportunity to form good work habits with immediate feedback.  The reverse is also true; students all too easily form bad work habits with delayed feedback – especially if it is delayed by days, weeks, or even months.  A child with 20 math problems that is incorrectly working the steps of long division will have a much better habit in place for this skill if the error is corrected with immediate feedback. Likewise, a child that is incorrectly spelling ‘friend’ as ‘frend’ in written work will have a much better chance of spelling it properly if the spelling error is corrected right away rather than weeks later.

I have found it equally helpful to give immediate feedback on schoolwork being done correctly!

Students not only benefit from immediate feedback on schoolwork being done incorrectly, they also benefit from immediate feedback on schoolwork being done correctly! A child who knows they correctly answered the first 5 problems in math will be more likely to confidently work through the remaining problems. Likewise, a child who knows from immediate feedback that he chose a good essay topic, chose good resources, and chose good prewriting ideas will be more likely to successfully and happily write their essay. Children left for days, weeks, or months with no feedback begin to wonder what the purpose of their work is at all.  If no one cares to look at their work, why does their work matter? This is a valid question.

I love Charlotte Mason’s thoughts on the formation of habits! 

Charlotte Mason had much to say about the formation of habits, and habits are greatly impacted by immediate feedback. I will share a few of my favorites below:

Each of us has in his possession an exceedingly good servant or a very bad master, known as Habit.  (Vol. 4, p. 208)

Every day, every hour, the parents are either passively or actively forming those habits in their children upon which, more than upon anything else, future character and conduct depend. (Vol. 1, p. 118)

Every habit has its beginning. The beginning is the idea which comes with a stir and takes possession of us.  (Vol. 2, p. 230)

In closing

In closing, it is such a blessing that you can give your children immediate feedback in homeschooling. Whether your feedback is to correct a poor habit or to encourage a good habit, it always has the power to help your children.  Providing immediate feedback is one of the powerful tools to positively impact students’ learning and achievement. In homeschooling, you can more effectively provide immediate feedback. Even the best of public school teachers with the best intentions of giving immediate feedback simply can’t match you. Twenty-some students just makes it near to impossible!  But, in homeschooling, smaller ‘class sizes’ make immediate feedback easy. So, now you know one more reason why you should homeschool!

In Christ,

Julie

Why homeschool? You run your own schedule!

From Our House to Yours

Why should you homeschool?… A Series on Reasons to Homeschool

There are many reasons to homeschool, and at Heart of Dakota, we are focused on sharing them in this From Our House to Yours series!  First, we talked about how you get to spend more time with your children. Second, we talked about how you know what your children did for the day. Today, we’ll talk about the third reason, which is one of the biggest reasons I love to homeschool!  Simply put, you get to run your own schedule.

#3 – You run your own schedule.

Are you tired of someone else telling you what you have to do, where you have to be, when you have to be there, and how long you have to stay? If you homeschool in your own home and you are the teacher, no one else gets to tell you these things. Why? Because you run your own schedule! This reason to homeschool is so big, I really could divide it into multiple posts. I’ll just touch on some of the big ideas here!

Whether you homeschool or not can depend on the weather!

We have blizzards in South Dakota, and what do public schools do? They call off school. Where are our South Dakota children during some of our nicest months temperature-wise, like spring and fall, when they could actually enjoy playing outside? Indoors, at school. In Arizona, one of the hottest, most unbearable months temperature-wise is July. Where are the children? Stuck indoors, at home, not doing school.  Where are they when Arizona has some of the nicest temperatures, and they could actually enjoy playing outside? Still indoors, but now at school. However, if you choose to homeschool, you run the schedule. If it’s nice outside, your children can be outside. If it’s either a freezing cold blizzard or a stifling hot summer day outside, you can be indoors homeschooling.

Vacation when no one else can!

Do you know how much money you can save when you can vacation when no one else can? A lot! We love to vacation in September. Why? No one else with children in school can. Hotels can be half the cost. Lines to rides or shows or entertainment of any kind can be half as long. Airline tickets can be half the price. VRBO’s can be a fraction of the cost. Restaurants can have half the wait time. National Parks can have half as long of lines of cars. Parking lots actually have places open to park. Hiking trails can have half as many people. Pools can have room to actually swim. Nothing beats vacationing when no one else can!

Pick the best time to homeschool for your family and your children!

Are you an early riser or a night owl? How about your children? When you homeschool, you can pick the best time to homeschool for you and for and your children.  Best of all, not everyone must have the exact same schedule.  If you are an early riser, you can partner with one of your children who is also an early riser and start school earlier with that child. Meanwhile, your child who is not an early riser but is more of a night owl can do some homeschool work at night and sleep in the next morning. Each person can have a say in the homeschool day, and that makes everyone happier!

Sick days, field trip days, special days – you can take them off whenever you want!

It is hard to take days off from public school. You can’t really take them off because the teacher is still assigning work to the rest of the class. That work must be made up, and it piles up, making it almost impossible to catch up or maintain good grades.  This is why sick children are attending school. In homeschooling, if your children are sick, you simply do school a different day. They rest. Recuperate. And no work piles up. They return to homeschool healthy and ready to learn. Likewise, if you want to take a field trip, you can. Or, if there is a special day you want to take off, you do!  We always take our birthdays off.  The birthday person chooses what to have for breakfast, lunch, and supper. He picks a board game to play, a movie to watch, and an activity to play. With homeschooling, you run the schedule, and fun is allowed.

Mealtimes, movement, and moments with Dad are at your discretion!

When does your family like to have mealtimes? Early morning? Late morning? Noon? 1 PM? It’s totally up to you in homeschooling. In public school, your child may need to eat breakfast at 6:30 AM to be able to catch the bus. But, school lunch might not be until 1 PM. That’s a loooooooong time to go without eating and not be allowed to snack!

Do you have an active child? In school, movement is limited. Your child may be sitting at a desk doing seatwork in a crowded room with 20-some other students for long periods of time. Just getting permission to go to the bathroom can be tough!  However, you run the schedule in homeschooling. If your child needs a break, he can get up and move, and return to homeschooling with a fresh mind ready to learn.

Does your husband like to fish? Or to hunt? To toss around a baseball? Or to bike ride?  In homeschooling, your children can join him at any time. He can round up the children impromptu when the weather is just right, and enjoy the day with them anytime his schedule allows it. Moments with Dad can happen any time it works with his schedule, and if your husband is anything like mine, he will love that! These are just a few reasons I think you will love to homeschool!  Fellow homeschool moms and homeschool moms soon to be – never underestimate the blessing of being able to run your own schedule!  It is one of the very best reasons why you should homeschool!

In Christ,

Julie

Why should you homeschool?

From Our House to Yours

Why should you homeschool?… A Series on Reasons to Homeschool

My family was recently sitting around the kitchen table when we began discussing why we love to homeschool.  What began as just an informal discussion over lunch ended with an all day brainstorming session! I set out a piece of paper on the kitchen counter and told everyone to add to it as they thought of ideas. Five pages later, reasons why we love to homeschool filled each paper!  Reasons that made it on the list range from obvious to less obvious, from big to small.  But, as the day wore on and the list grew longer, it occurred to us that many of the reasons have revealed themselves to us gradually over the past 17 years we’ve been homeschooling.

The reasons we felt we should homeschool at the start of our journey are still reasons we feel we should homeschool now. However, as we have moved through different stages of life with different blessings and challenges, we have discovered new reasons we never even could have foreseen! It also occurred to us other families might be trying to answer this same question.  Why SHOULD you homeschool?

To whom is this blog series dedicated?

This blog series is dedicated to all of you wonderful moms out there who are wondering why you should homeschool!  You may be excited – but somewhat overwhelmed – at the possibility of homeschooling for the very first time.  Your first little one may be on the brink of entering public or private school, or you might be pondering pulling your children out of a school they are already attending. Either way, if you are wondering why you should homeschool, this blog series is dedicated to you!

Before you choose to homeschool, it helps to have a target in mind!

To hit a target, we need to know what it is, don’t we?  Imagine a hunter drawing his bow to aim at… nothing.  The chances of hitting the target if you don’t know what it is are minimal.  Homeschooling can be like that. If you don’t have a clear picture of the target, it will be hard to know if you hit it.  Knowing why you should homeschool is the target, and having that bullseye in mind lets you know when you’ve hit it!

So, what’s your story?

Talk to any homeschool mom that has happily homeschooled her children, and you will find she has a story.  Something led her to homeschool, and whatever it was became a part of her ‘target.’ We’ll call it the first ring of the ‘bullseye.’ For me, it was the day I dropped my 2 year old son off at daycare to go to my teaching job. He stood at the door crying, and as I got into my car, I was crying too.  But then a very sad thing happened.  I went to my teaching job, and I completely forgot about him.  It wasn’t until I picked him up from daycare that I realized I hadn’t thought of him once.

That broke my heart. I also realized the only way I’d know what his day had been like was by what his daycare provider told me. Furthermore, I realized when he began attending school every day, I’d see him even less, as at the time I was  teaching part-time and only had daycare a 2-3 days a week. That bothered me deeply. To be able to spend more time with my children became the first ‘ring’ in my ‘why should you homeschool’ bullseye target.

#1 – You have more time to spend with your children!

For many moms, this is the first reason they begin to entertain the idea of homeschooling. In this crazy, busy life we as moms lead, sometimes there is really very little time we get to spend with our children. Maybe you are a mom like I was, and while you work your children attend daycare.  You miss them, and you are a little jealous of the daycare provider because she is the one that gets to spend time with your children while you work.

Or, maybe you are a mom of little ones who does not work and who has loved staying home with your little ones. But now, kindergarten is looming, and you can see that time you have cherished with your child is on the precipice of slipping away.

Or, finally, maybe you are a mom who has children attending public or private school, and you are weary of your only time with your children being at night and on weekends. You find yourself being the homework helper, and you find your child is less enthused about schoolwork at night or on the weekends after having done schoolwork at school all day and all week.  

The Bible supports this longing you have to spend more time with your children!

When you feel that tug at your heart to spend more time with your children, know that longing is supported by the Bible!  Deuteronomy 6:5-9 says:  “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.  Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.”

So, your longing to spend more time with your children is a WONDERFUL reason for why you should homeschool!  In my next From Our House to Yours posts I will be sharing many more reasons why you should homeschool.  In keeping with the list we made as a family, they will be in no particular order of time or of importance. I hope you enjoy this and find some answers that encourage you to either consider homeschooling or keep homeschooling – God bless!

In Christ,

Julie

P.S. To find out more about homeschooling with Heart of Dakota, click here or here!